How to Turn Off and Remove Subtotals in Power BI

Power BI gives users the ability to selectively turn off subtotals for different aggregation levels. You can disable them for rows, columns, and control which subtotals, and grand totals appear on your visual. Using a Matrix visual as an example, we’ll explain how subtotals and grand totals work in Power BI.

How To Disable Subtotals in a Power BI Matrix

To disable subtotals in Power BI, select a visual then navigate to the “Format Your Visual” section of the visualization pane. Turn off “Column Subtotals” to disable all subtotals. Enable “Per Column Level” to change individual subtotals. This setting allows you to choose each column and selectively turn it on or off.

Towards the bottom of the list is a selection for Column Subtotals and Row Subtotals along with Column and Row Grand Totals. Each section can be expanded to show additional settings.

Column and Row Settings are available under format your visual in Power BI

Disable all Column or Row Subtotals

If you click the on/off button for column subtotals or row subtotals it will fully remove all levels of subtotals from your visual.

Turn off subtotals in Power BI by selecting column or row subtotals off

Disable Column or Row Level Subtotals

Power BI allows users to control subtotals at different levels within a Matrix Visual. For example, adding a date hierarchy to a visual will result in Month, Quarter, and Annual Subtotals that can be selectively disabled one level at a time.

To disable column or row level subtotals, select a visual then expand the column or row subtotals section of the Format Options panel.

Example of turning show subtotal on or off for each column in a matrix visual.  You can also rename subtotal headers.

Expand the Column Subtotals section by clicking the arrow at the right of the format setting and enable Per Column or Row Level. Then in the columns or row section, select the name of a column or row and disable or enable that level.

Per column level settings in Power BI let you enable or disable multiple subtotals.

You may have to disable more than one column level. Go back to the column level dropdown box, and change the Show Subtotal box below for each column from the dropdown.

Why Power BI shows Multiple Subtotals in a Matrix Visual

Power BI will automatically generate a subtotal for each field that is added into column. When working with an expanded Date Hierarchy, Power BI will display totals for the Year, Quarter, Month, and Day.

Power Displays Multiple Totals and Subtotals on a matrix visual due to multiple layers of columns from a date hierarchy

Power BI’s presentation of date hierarchies specifically makes more sense when you consider that sometimes you want to show things like monthly, quarterly and annual subtotals when a matrix visual is expanded.

For example, this matrix visual shows month subtotals for quarters along with a full year total at the far right of the visual.

Expanding a matrix to show why multiple subtotals and a grand total could be sueful

To some extent, this is the same behavior that you’ll see when working in an Excel pivot table to summarize data by dates and expand out each month. Excel pivot tables are a little easier to read because the column totals have different formatting to differentiate them from grand totals.

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